Pointing out that police cannot be involved in an industrial dispute pending adjudication, the Madras High Court dismissed a plea moved by a firm seeking police protection to move machinery from its factory in SIPCOT Industrial complex in Ranipet. The unit has remained closed from March 2020.
When the plea moved by Greaves Cotton Ltd came up, Justice N Anand Venkatesh said considering the claims made by its employees and also that the government has already referred the dispute to the Industrial Disputes Court for adjudication, the court was of the opinion that this was not a fit case to exercise its discretion and provide police protection to remove the assets from the factory premises.
“Such removal of assets from the factory premises may have a bearing on the claims made by the employees. Therefore, the police should not be involved in a case of this nature where there is an industrial dispute pending adjudication,” the judge said while dismissing the petition. The company had contended that the assets from the factory would only be moved to its other units and not sold or disposed of, adding that a proper inventory would be taken and the list would be submitted.
But the counsel appearing for the workers pointed out that they had made a claim of nearly Rs 10 crore towards settlement and submitted that nothing would be left for the workers if all the assets were removed from the factory premises.